As you may have read in the previous section, epigenetics tells us that factors such as stress and emotions can modify our DNA and that these modifications can be passed on to future generations. But how exactly do emotions affect the human body?
Findings from The Institute of HeartMath
The Institute of HeartMath, a non-profit research and education organization founded in 1991, asked the question: “Does the heart operate simply under the direction of the brain, or does it possess an intelligence of sorts that has influence on our mind and emotions?”. As early as the 1970’s, research suggested that the heart selectively responds to messages from the brain, and that the heart sends messages to the brain that are understood and obeyed. In fact, the heart has its own independent nervous system!
The Institute found that negative emotions like frustration and anger created jagged and disordered heart rhythms which in a chronic setting would put stress on the heart and other organs potentially leading to health problems. In contrast, positive emotions like appreciation, love or care produced harmonious heart rhythms (click here and scroll to ‘Emotions and the Heart’), and “when these rhythms become more coherent, a cascade of neural and biochemical events begins that affects virtually every organ in the body.”
The Institute suggests “that heart intelligence actually transfers intelligence to the emotions and instills the power of emotional management….The more we listen to and follow our heart intelligence, the more educated, balanced and coherent our emotions become.”
The HeartMath Solution summarizes the Institute’s fascinating research findings and their implications, as well as teaches tools, such as ‘Freeze Frame’ to identify stressful emotional (incoherent heart) reactions and shift these by applying heart intelligence. The health gains from moving from head to the heart with these teachings can be quite impressive. One stressed out patient with 700 extra heart beats per minute, who slept only four hours per night, required Valium and beta blockers, and suffered from hair loss, stomach aches and headaches began using the Freeze Frame technique with no other medical, lifestyle, dietary or exercise interventions. Within weeks she was able to stop the Valium, by five months her anti-arrhythmia drugs were reduced by half, and by nine months her ECG recordings were normal with no further tachycardia.
HeartMath tools have been taken not just to the corporate world but to other sectors with exciting results. When seventh graders at a middle school in Dade County, Florida were taught and practiced the techniques, vast and statistically significant improvements were seen in their relationships and attitudes towards schoolwork, teachers, friends and family. As another example, law enforcement is known be to a high stress career. Thirty police officers, tested before and four weeks after being trained in the use of HeartMath tools, showed marked reductions in stress, negative emotions and physical stress symptoms compared with a control group.
Trapped Emotions (The Emotion Code)
Bradley Nelson is a chiropractic physician and holistic healer and teacher who introduced the world to the power of trapped emotions and the ease with which these unhelpful energies can be released.
Being human means experiencing and working through difficult emotions, as a result of all sorts of life circumstances. Most of the time, we experience the emotion – sorrow, anxiousness, frustration or whatever it may be – then forget about it, believing it has left us. But in reality the energy of that emotion can become trapped within our body. For example, it is common to trap an emotion, such as heartache, related to the passing of someone close to you. With that energy still held within your body, the next time that emotion comes up, you may feel it more intensely than you otherwise would. Consider two tuning forks of the same pitch. If the first tuning fork is struck to cause it to vibrate, even though the second fork has not been struck it will begin to vibrate at the same frequency. This is analogous to what happens when a person has trapped emotions. Where the emotions become trapped may be symbolic or it may be in a weak point in your body. You may also experience the trapped emotions as a physical discomfort that improves or resolves once the emotions are released. All of us end up with trapped emotions and many of us have built a wall around our hearts as a sort of defense mechanism. This heart-wall can prevent us from engaging fully with life and with others.
In The Emotion Code, Nelson shares examples of the many emotional and physical issues he has improved, and explains how anyone can identify their own trapped emotions through the use of muscle testing (applied kinesiology) and release them using a common refrigerator magnet. If this all sounds too incredible to be true I completely understand – I initially felt the same way! But after synchronicities repeatedly put these teachings in front of me I decided to experiment with family and friends (with permission of course!). And amazingly, I was either told of, or noticed for myself, marked improvements in how they were handling their emotions and reacting to life.
The Body Code
The Body Code, also from Dr. Bradley Nelson, is a far more extensive program for improving both physical and emotional issues. Imbalances in the body relating not just to energies (trapped emotions and others) but also circuits and systems, toxins, pathogens, misalignments, and nutrition and lifestyle are identified and addressed energetically in a similar fashion as described in The Emotion Code. While it is true that trapped emotions are a common cause of our emotional and physical problems, there are many other unhelpful energies that may get stuck in our bodies after stressful mental, emotional or physical events. These energies may not only create emotional challenges but may cause misalignments of body tissues thereby causing imbalances in the glands, organs, bones etc. in which they are located.
For more information I recommend this hour-long YouTube interview with Dr. Nelson which describes his path to energy healing and how The Body Code works.